Operations at Bathurst's Cascade mine, next to the
Denniston plateau above Westport, which supplies coal for
domestic use. Photo from ODT files.
West Coast coking coal mine developer Bathurst Resources
is seeking more cash while it waits out record low global coal
Having raised $A7.39 million ($NZ8.03 million) from
institutional investors last month, it is now seeking up to
$2.7 million in a 1:23 share rights issue to shareholders.
After two years fighting environmental groups over consents
to mine the Denniston plateau above Westport, the global coal
price plunged to a nine-year low below $US100 per tonne,
making mining uneconomic.
Bathurst has spent about $300 million in acquisitions, mine
planning and development, consenting and legal challenges,
but had to lay off staff and cut management salaries to wait
out the slump.
The shares are offered at 6.5c, closing on July 3.
From a year-high in October of 25c per share, they have since
plunged, trading below 7c per share since mid-April;
yesterday at 6.5c. The all time high was $1.74 in April 2011.
The company said in a statement ''Bathurst intends to use the
proceeds from this offer, along with the raising from the
recent placement, primarily to fund the development of the
Escarpment Project, and to assess other sites on the West
Coast of New Zealand for their potential''.
Aside from raising $18.9 million in September from
institutional investors, as at March, Bathurst had about $10
million in cash and short term deposits.
Cash flow is coming from three small existing South Island
mines purchased by Bathurst, which are expected to increase
their 400,000-tonne production this year. That production is